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Are You Wasting Precious Time?

Wonder why you’re working late every night, or why you never have time to, ahem, get busy? It might not be your demanding boss or schedule. It could be you. Take this quiz to find out if you’re wasting time without even realizing it.

1. At work, I’m:

A. Laser-focused -- from the moment I step into the office, I’m all about my work. I save the personal emails, web surfing, errand running, etc., for when I get home.

B. On top of my stuff for the most part. I take the occasional break to check out a Gilt Groupe sale or run out for coffee (and some gossip) with a coworker, but I get what needs to be done, done.

C. Doing a million (work- and nonwork-related) things at once: emailing friends during conference calls, checking in with my significant other while creating a spreadsheet, catching up with a coworker during a meeting.

2. You’re planning to see a new movie on opening night. You:

A. Order tickets ahead of time on Fandango.

B. Stop by the theater to buy tickets before you go to dinner.

C. Show up 20 minutes early sans tickets and wait in line.

3. You’ve been spending a lot of weekends at your in-laws’ country house, and you have to pay several tolls to get there. You:

A. Buy a toll pass.

B. Take note of the cost of tolls and come prepared -- with exact change.

C. Accept it as a necessary evil and get in line for a manual booth -- since you never remember to bring exact change.

4. Your new bookshelf arrives, and the 13-page instruction manual looks complicated. You:

A. Read the manual front to back before you get started. Sure, it’s a pain, but following the directions will save you time in the long run.

B. Skim the manual but decide to start building and consult the manual only when you’re stuck.

C. Skip the manual entirely and try to figure things out on your own before realizing, four hours later, that you missed the first, most important step and have to redo the entire thing.

5. You’re on hold waiting to get someone at your insurance company on the phone. You:

A. Fold the laundry, unload the dishwasher and make your grocery list for the week.

B. Fool around on Facebook and check your email.

C. Sit and stare at the clock, wondering why these people think you have nothing better to do with your time than wait on hold.

6. You’re at the grocery store, and the regular checkout line is out the door. But the 15 items or less line has just one person in it. You have 17 items in your cart. You:

A. Take two items out and hit up the 15 and under line. You don’t need to wait 10 minutes for a bottle of OJ and a box of Easy Mac.

B. Just suck it up and wait 10 minutes in the regular line. You don’t want to have to come back again for those two extra items.

C. Walk out. You’re not in the mood to wait another 10 minutes just to check out, and if you take a couple of items out, you’re going to have to come back for them anyway.

7. You’ve got 10 minutes to kill before you need to meet a friend for lunch. You:

A. Leave early and stop to pick up your prescription at the drugstore on the way.

B. Start organizing your closet, but realize after you take everything out that you need to leave for lunch.

C. Turn on the TV and watch a rerun of House, making you five minutes late for lunch.

Count up the number of A's, B's and C's and click to the next page to find out where you fall on the time management spectrum.


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